Olympic bid leaving a legacy

JUST as London and Rio forged long-term travel legacies in the years since their Games were held, tourism experts say Queensland will leave its own lasting footprint on Olympic history.

More than 200 national committees and teams will need to get ready for the Games in Queensland if the state is successful with its Olympic bid.

Aside from higher tourism numbers and fast-tracked infrastructure, Millicent Kennelly says a 2032 Olympic bid will give regional cities in Queensland and northern New South Wales “intangible” legacies around event hosting capacity and community pride.

Dr Kennelly, a senior lecturer at Griffith University business school, said she conducted research on the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the push to build infrastructure in Sydney’s inner west suburbs.

She said the infrastructure for the athlete’s village had since been transformed into new housing, workplaces and an “active hub with rail infrastructure”.

“We saw teams coming from all around the world and some of them were based in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley,” Dr Kennelly said.

“There were efforts to build up trade relationships through connecting with the countries training in all those different places.

“There’s no reason that kind of model couldn’t apply to Queensland to making sure any locality around the state that hosts a training camp or event could showcase its local produce or tourism industry.”

However, Dr Kennelly said there needed to be a co-ordinated push from regional councils and governments to make sure cities outside of the southeast corner reaped the rewards of the Games.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said there would be an “intense” tourism legacy 20 years after the Games as visitors travel to Queensland.

“People who will travel here, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region ... will be so much more aware of what Queensland and Australia are all about,” he said.

“They will have seen the images, they will want to be here for the Games and would certainly want to come back to see everything on offer.”

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